Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Sep 10, 2013
    Defiance may be an ambitious project. Linking an online action game with a TV-series is a smart idea but one that here mostly comes of as a mere gimmick. The story is unengaging and the action mediocre and monotonous. Not to say anything about the myriad of bugs that utterly destroys the experience.
  2. 89
    It’s an addictive game that seems to become even better as you play. If it keeps getting the right support and if the tie-in with the TV series proves successful, we might have a game that will keep us occupied for a lengthy amount of time. [May 2013]
  3. Jun 4, 2013
    If Trion can introduce better quest design, this will be a winner. [June 2013, p.88]
  4. Jun 4, 2013
    Only time will tell if the game linked to a TV series shtick will pan out, but for the time being, I am glad Trion is taking the risk.
  5. May 30, 2013
    Defiance fails in the difficult task of merging a TV series and a video game in a convincing and engaging way.
  6. May 20, 2013
    Not exactly the cross-media revolution that was promised, but there's a decent (if flawed) third-person shooter inside this light MMO structure.
  7. May 13, 2013
    As of now the game is crawling with bugs but developers eradicate them very ably. There’s something charming in Defiance and I will keep playing it. [CD-Action 06/2013, p.72]
  8. May 10, 2013
    Defiance is a game that actively flaunts bad gunplay in the player’s face, has no real progression to speak of, lacks cohesion of design in both mechanics and art, and is missing the most important part of an MMO: variety.
  9. May 9, 2013
    Myriad fixable problems mar a unique multiplayer experience. May improve with time. [June 2013, p.82]
  10. 70
    The shooter portion is rock solid, but battles are generic and without real challenges. The game is still buggy and the first patches didn’t bring any new highlights or motivating content.
  11. May 3, 2013
    Defiance is a really fun game despite its numerous rough edges. But can that fun overcome its mediocrity? That would likely be up to each individual gamer. If you’re hankering for an online PvE-centric shooter that’s out of beta, Defiance may be for you. If you’re a mega-fan of the show and like to game, it’s also probably a no-brainer. But if you’re looking for a polished and complete experience to rival other MMOs on the market, you might be better off waiting to see if Trion can remedy the problems marring Defiance’s launch. If the blogs from the studio are any indication, Defiance could wind up being a diamond in the rough. But it’s going to take some time to get there, and hopefully it will before we all forget it exists.
  12. May 1, 2013
    It’s a good thing the fundamental gameplay is addictive, because the missions are tedious.
  13. Apr 27, 2013
    Defiance is an enjoyable game, which needs to be polished to really shine. The shooting-mechanism works great and shooting with and against other Ark Hunters is great fun. The game has some downsides but there aren't major errors. The connection with the series still has to prove it self and that is something only time will tell.
  14. Apr 22, 2013
    Defiance may have functioned as an interesting way (read: gimmick) to promote a series on SyFy that may have a shot at stabilizing the network’s bipolar ratings, but as a game, it’s barely playable.
  15. Apr 21, 2013
    Launching MMOs is always difficult, doing it on PC and consoles (and TV!) at the same time is almost impossible. But in the end Defiance defies early critics and lands some good punches: the smooth surfacing PvE and PvP FPS mechanics are intriguing enough to turn a blind eye on not-so-cutting-edge A.I. and visuals. Just give Trion a chance.
  16. Apr 19, 2013
    While its story and graphics are uninspired, its sci-fi setting and skill-based combat are a refreshing change from its pointy-eared, min-maxing, level-grinding brethren.
  17. Apr 19, 2013
    The core shooting mechanics are engaging enough to keep you coming back, and its intriguing episodic ties have the potential to keep ark hunting interesting in fresh, original ways.
  18. Apr 19, 2013
    The game has a special charm to it that is hard to describe. I was never bored while playing, but I was never blown away either. It’s very standard in most aspects, but the dynamic quests and Shadow War PVP really help the game shine.
  19. Apr 19, 2013
    Defiance lacks the humor of Borderlands but retains all of the gun-hunting and combat that made that game great but the bugs and interface issues are a problem. Patches will surely address these but that does not take away from the fact that the game suffers for its week-one presentation. Even with the solid core to pick it back up, it may be difficult to convince people to come back. If you can get through its shortcomings, Defiance is well worth a look.
  20. Apr 18, 2013
    It has not been the best launch, but still Defiance has potential to improve. The core mechanics are good and it can be a really fun game. Long term, it could become something really interesting.
  21. Apr 17, 2013
    It’s just not very good. Rare well-designed quests are overshadowed by a host of others that feel phoned in, and though the fundamentals of shooting are competent, weak enemy AI makes the PvE combat a bore.
  22. Apr 17, 2013
    Defiance is the B movie of massively multiplayer games: rickety and unrefined, yet a good time all the same.
  23. Apr 17, 2013
    Defiance is a pretty average game that may only survive the test of time based on the popularity of the TV series.
  24. Apr 16, 2013
    Even with its blemishes, there's a lot of enjoyment to be had in the creaking world of Defiance 1.0. Its creators have banked on the "fun shall overcome" school of game design which, with exceptions, Defiance achieves. I only wish it didn't have to overcome quite so much.
  25. Apr 16, 2013
    We appreciate the attempt to bring new ideas to the genre, but they don't really fit well together. Still, if you're looking for a action multiplayer-based game this could be an option.
  26. Apr 15, 2013
    Defiance is mostly lacking meaningful connective tissue. It fails at the fundamental task of feeling like a thoughtfully designed and polished game. It fails at feeling like a world. It fails at giving you much to look forward to once you’ve realized you’ve seen most of what it’s ever going to do. You can only get so far with “it’s fun to shoot stuff”. About Defiance far.
  27. Apr 15, 2013
    Defiance lands on Earth with a significant number of flaws: Pay to Win PvP, average graphics, repetitive gameplay... But the base looks solid for a brighter future, especially if you decided to watch the Defiance TV series and if you are hooked by this universe.
  28. Apr 15, 2013
    With more polished graphics, fewer bugs and a better AI, Defiance could aspire to even more ambitious goals. Perhaps the right upgrades will come shortly, but now you have an imperfect MMO although courageous and, above all, one that is pretty fun.
  29. Apr 15, 2013
    Quotation forthcoming.
  30. Apr 12, 2013
    Defiance lacks in many essential aspects that make a modern MMO game great, but it somehow manages to be addictive and quite enjoyable. You won't find anything entirely new here, but give it time and we're certain that it will get better and better.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 651 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 80 out of 264
  1. Apr 2, 2013
    An engaging sci-fi story with the wild enjoyment of Borderlands only with 1,000 friends instead of four. If you're the type of person to getAn engaging sci-fi story with the wild enjoyment of Borderlands only with 1,000 friends instead of four. If you're the type of person to get caught up in fevered loot-hording, third person action and large scale PvE and PvP give it a shot. Full Review »
  2. Apr 3, 2013
    Pros: Great shooting mechanics, enormous weapon variety and kit customization. Instanced PvP and PvE are great fun.

    Cons: Quests are
    Pros: Great shooting mechanics, enormous weapon variety and kit customization. Instanced PvP and PvE are great fun.

    Cons: Quests are repetitive, annoying crafting interface.

    Currently at 250 EGO (max EGO aka level is 5000), put maybe at least 12 hrs into this game since release.

    Shooting mechanics are great which is VERY important for a game like this, quests are a little boring but pretty much standard fare for a MMO (tbh, it doesn't bother players like me who spam Esc through all the cutscenes and don't read a goddamn thing because we play for the sake of progression). Both instanced PvP and PvE sessions have been great fun. There are "damage meters/scoreboards" so you can see how you stack with your friends.

    Solid game, add +1 rating if playing with friends.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 3, 2013
    I pre-ordered after watching some videos online. I wondered why there were no reviews beforehand and now I know why. It's total poo andI pre-ordered after watching some videos online. I wondered why there were no reviews beforehand and now I know why. It's total poo and offers nothing new. I LOVED Rift and had confidence in the Dev, but this is a mess of a game. The AI is a joke, the landscapes are boring (little variety), the gear and looting is confusing, entering/exiting vehicles is hit and miss, the controls (PC) are awful, the avatars all look identical, etc. I'm not drawn towards this game at all. I played for a few hours and became bored quickly. The RPG element is clearly not there. It's a generic MMO shooter with little else on offer. I wish I could roll back my life a day and buy Bioshock Infinite instead. Shame on you Trion. Full Review »